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Thread: viruses are viruses because...?

  1. #1 viruses are viruses because...? 
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    I always intrupretted virsuses as having their own unique characteristics. is there anything outside of this that may change their purpose or being?

    is there any sort of genetic coding or identification within the visuses shell (for lack of a better word)?

    if the dna/rna within a virus is removed and replaced with different dna, might this alter the virus' function?


    Last edited by chero; April 24th, 2013 at 12:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    I always intrupretted virsuses as having their own unique characteristics. is there anything outside of this that may change their purpose or being?
    Yes, anything which alters their outer protein structure or inner RNA or DNA (Some viruses have DNA, others have RNA) significantly can render a virus inert. If it can penetrate and alter DNA or RNA, it can mutate the virus (radiation, for example.)
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    is there any sort of genetic coding or identification within the visuses shell (for lack of a better word)?
    The word "within" needs to be defined, here.
    On the inside is DNA or RNA. But within the structure of the outer shell, no. There is, however, a system of protein structures that can carry information or interact with environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    if the dna/rna within a virus is removed and replaced with different dna, might this alter the virus' function?
    Yes, it can. Injecting a plasmid into a virus shell can alter the coding within. Taking the DNA or RNA out and replacing it can alter the virus's function if you plan it out and use proper code. If you inject code that does not coincide with the outter protein structure, the virus would probably be destroyed since the blueprints are for the wrong building.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Yes, anything which alters their outer protein structure or inner RNA or DNA (Some viruses have DNA, others have RNA) significantly can render a virus inert. If it can penetrate and alter DNA or RNA, it can mutate the virus (radiation, for example.)
    is it possible then, to alter the dna or rna to have the virus mutate into something that is not a virus?
    The word "within" needs to be defined, here.
    On the inside is DNA or RNA. But within the structure of the outer shell, no. There is, however, a system of protein structures that can carry information or interact with environment.
    okay

    thank you
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    is it possible then, to alter the dna or rna to have the virus mutate into something that is not a virus?
    No, but the virus can be rendered inert or be given what we would consider a more benign or beneficial function. Altered virus's are a technique for Gene Therapy.
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    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    in the movie "I am Legend", there is this incredible scene that delivers the concept of "fiction pushing reality while reality develops fiction."

    I am Legend News Report Scene - YouTube

    is the benefitial function of this potential mangitude, or simply referring to vaccines?
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    I am not in a strong position to sit and watch the video now. You might run a search on what a vaccine is what forms vaccines take.
    Wikipedia is a good start.
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    I see no reason why a virus , through an error in transcription by the host, couldn't be mutated over many many generations to eventually be free-living.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piemaster View Post
    I see no reason why a virus , through an error in transcription by the host, couldn't be mutated over many many generations to eventually be free-living.
    Your statement does not make sense.

    If I understand you correctly, the RNA of a virus cannot be self sustaining on its own because it is RNA. A virus with DNA lacks the necessary material to be self sustaining as well. Well some are quite complex, the amount of actual material is still very small. In order to do as you suggest, a great deal of coding would need to be added. So even many, many generations would not be enough to add massive amounts of code.
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    Hi,
    Viruses can replicate inside the living cells of an organism and so they can be transmitted easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    I always intrupretted virsuses as having their own unique characteristics. is there anything outside of this that may change their purpose or being?

    is there any sort of genetic coding or identification within the visuses shell (for lack of a better word)?

    if the dna/rna within a virus is removed and replaced with different dna, might this alter the virus' function?
    Yes most possibly it would alter the functions of virus as it would effect their biological behavior .
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  12. #11  
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    A virus is anything that can only duplicate itself through manipulating another cell's organelles/ hereditary material.
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